Times are changing and women working in largely male dominated jobs generally have good experiences, but are they treated differently from their male counterparts? Whether she’s in the office or behind the wheel, challenges are part of the job.
Glaiza L. is a Filipina expatriate who has been driving a Pink Taxi in the Roads and Transportation Authority’s (RTA) fleet, catering to women and families, for three years. This special fleet of vehicles in the UAE driven by women was launched in 2007 in Dubai and has since grown across the country.
Glaiza said: “Driving is my passion, so I don’t have any issues. But it’s just that some men don’t care about women. So sometimes when we’re going in the queue and it’s their turn, sometimes they don’t respect you. And that’s hard for us.”
These women are battling the stereotype of women being bad drivers. But, Glaiza strongly believes that it’s all about experience. The more experienced you are, the better you will be.
Glaiza said: “There’s lots of people like that, who will think twice before driving with me. Maybe because some drivers are not yet experienced [as a taxi driver], so customers are a bit scared if they did ride before and the experience was bad. But then the next time they’re coming, they don’t want to ride in a Pink Taxi anymore. But this is only some people. Most of the time, if the experience is good, they are coming back to the Pink Taxis automatically.”
In the office environment, Sabine Siebolds is a German expatriate who began her role as a brand manager five weeks ago. She’s been having good experiences in her office, but there are mostly men.
Siebolds said: “In my team I have two men and two women. It’s more here in the office, where I’m surrounded by men. It’s fun and also interesting. It’s fun in a way, sometimes it’s a challenge.”
As the manager, Siebolds’ team relies on her. She works with people of many nationalities and finds that the respect for women in the UAE has largely been to her benefit.
Siebolds said: “The team I work with, they’re giving me a lot of respect.”